The RCA is committed to working toward a multiracial and multicultural future freed from racism. This goal is named as a priority for Transformed & Transforming, the RCA’s vision statement. Dismantling racism is also central to one of the RCA’s doctrinal Standards, the Belhar Confession. We believe racism is sinful. And we are actively working to uncover and dismantle racism in ourselves and the systems we’re part of.
Dismantling Racism in the RCA
“The RCA commitment is to name racism as a sin, and to work against its prevalence and pervasiveness both within our relationships and our denominational system, and in the wider domestic and global communities. Our efforts at eradicating racism call for us to change not only our systems but also our hearts for each other and for the life matters that concern each other.”—RCA general secretary’s interpretation, General Synod Council Ends Policy E-5
This work is informed by more than 60 years of guidance from General Synod, the broadest assembly in the RCA, which has repeatedly spoken against racism and the harm it does to God’s people, God’s church, and God’s world. General Synod has encouraged the church in general, and the RCA is particular, to repent of racism, and to stand in the gap and work toward equality.
Ways to get involved
Denominational commissions and racial/ethnic councils
The RCA has four councils dedicated to representing members and congregations who belong to racial/ethnic communities. The Commission on Race and Ethnicity also advises the denomination on issues of race.
The Commission on Race and Ethnicity advises the church on policies and initiatives that address issues of institutional racism and the commitment of the RCA to become a fully multicultural and multiethnic denomination. It serves as an advocate for transformation of the RCA in regard to its multiracial and multiethnic life.
In addition to being the voice of African American and black congregants and congregations in the RCA, the AABC also advocates for policies of inclusion and economic, social, and racial justice.
In addition to being the voice of Hispanic congregants and congregations in the RCA, the council also advocates for policies of inclusion and economic, social, and racial justice. All Hispanic RCA ministers of Word and sacrament, commissioned pastors, elders, and deacons are encouraged to join.
Council for Pacific and Asian American Ministries
In addition to being the voice of Pacific and Asian American congregants and congregations in the RCA, CPAAM also advocates for policies of inclusion and economic, social, and racial justice.
Native American and First Nations Ministries Council
The Native American Indian Council (NAIM) was recently reinstated as the RCA’s fourth ethnic council. NAIM gathers together RCA members and leaders from several different tribal contexts across North America. While NAIM is still discerning its focus and plans moving forward, the council’s first gathering offered an encouraging space for story sharing and prayerful reflection on what’s next.